I want to cut a lot of 1/2" inner diameter PVC conduit (the gray stuff, not white). Caliper measured 15mm ID, which is really 0.6", but I think it's sold as 1/2", or maybe the fitting are sold as 1/2".

Current Solution

I currently have a pair of ratcheting PVC cutters from Harbor Freight (my first mistake). They are horrible, they take a lot of force to make a cut, and the cuts are never flush (not that crucial, but would be ideal for aesthetics (I'm not using tubing for plumbing/wiring))

I tried a pair of very similar pair of ratcheting cutters sold under Home Depot's HDX brand. I borrowed it from the toolbox in the electrical isle at HD, so I figure it was well used (or recently replaced). It cut a lot better than my crappy HF pair, but it wasn't perfect.

Ideal Solution

  • A tool that can cut PVC tubing/conduit quickly
  • Preferably with flush ends.
  • Something that I can use in the field without a bench vice, so a saw is out.


I was thinking that a wheel-blade style tubing cutter would work well. I've used them on copper, and the cuts aren't always flush, but maybe I was just using it wrong.

Does anyone have experience cutting conduit/tubing with a wheel-blade tubing cutter ?

Or is there a brand of ratcheting cutter that I should consider?

  • Possible duplicate of PVC pipe cutter not working properly – Walter Stabosz Mar 20 '17 at 0:13
  • I like to play by SE rules, so I flagged this (my) question as a possible duplicate of diy.stackexchange.com/questions/40478/… but I think my question has merit to stand on its own. Plus, I didn't see the alternative question until after I posted this one. – Walter Stabosz Mar 20 '17 at 0:15
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    I have used the wheel type tubing cutters to cut the hard type grey PVC tubing with good success. Be aware that there is a big variation of quality in the wheel type cutters available so beware. The really cheap crap ones let the wheel wobble from side to side so much that a cut that you may attempt will not stay in one circuit around the tube but will instead spiral itself down the tube. So pick out a cutter that has better quality. – Michael Karas Mar 20 '17 at 0:26
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    I would not recommend the ratcheting type cutter for this type of tubing. – Michael Karas Mar 20 '17 at 0:27
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    define " in the field". a bench vice is not necessary to use a saw. i have used a jig saw, hack saw, chop saw, reciprocating saw. i have held it free hand, clamped, secured with my foot against the bumper of my van. – Alaska Man Mar 20 '17 at 3:17

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